|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, AUGUST 19, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Unicoi County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in connection with selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Rachel E. Allen, 33, of Erwin, after a joint investigation with the Unicoi Sheriff’s Office.
Allen is charged with one count of TennCare fraud. She’s accused of filling a prescription for Suboxone which was paid for by TennCare, then selling a portion of the pills. Suboxone is a drug used to treat addiction to opioid drugs, including heroin and narcotic painkillers, by producing a similar affect with less addictive characteristics.
“We are working with local police and sheriff’s officers across the state, as they sometimes discover that TennCare has been used to access prescription drugs for street sales,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Local police are clearly committed to eliminating prescription drug abuse, and we’re doing our part to stop abusers who are supporting this lifestyle with TennCare.”
The TennCare fraud charge against Allen could result in a two year sentence, if convicted. District Attorney Anthony Clark is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,240 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."